More than 1,000 people with the new coronavirus have now died in Boston, a once-unthinkable milestone for the city.
Mayor Marty Walsh announced the update on Twitter, calling it a "grim milestone" and "a painful reminder that we must all stay vigilant and continue to adhere to the safety measures that help stem the spread of this terrible virus."
Boston's coronavirus dashboard put the death toll at 1,002, an increase of three in the last day.
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"We all have a role to play in protecting each other, especially our most vulnerable, and we need to do our part to prevent further loss," Walsh said.
The city had the eighth known coronavirus case in the United States. It was recorded Feb. 1, before the city, state and country were deeply changed by the pandemic and its attendant lockdowns, school and business closures and social distancing.
"You can never be shocked by things like this because this virus is incredibly crafty," said Dr. Alysse Wurcel, an infectious diseases physician at Tufts Medical Center. "It is effective in transmitting before people have symptoms."
Wurcel says she hopes "that the numbers of people who are dying and being hospitalized will start slowing down, at least in the Boston, Massachusetts, area, within the next month or so, but those are hopes."
"The circles of COVID seem to be closing in closer and closer," she said. "I can say that in my personal life, that more and more people around me, next to my bubble, are getting diagnosed."
And despite the vaccine rollout, 2021 will likely start out the same way as most of 2020.
"For personal life, for how we're living, I don't see any changes for the next few weeks," Wurcel said.
Last week, Walsh spoke to NBC10 Boston about the impact the pandemic has had on Boston.
"Every night going home, I would go home at night, still to today, and think about the impacts that this virus, this pandemic is having on the world," he said.